Diana Scully, executive director of the Maine Justice Foundation, announced that the Foundation has received $1,500,410 from the Bank of America mortgage settlement. The Foundation is one of 56 state-based organizations receiving funds under the settlement.
The settlement addresses legal claims arising from mortgage-related activities by Bank of America and its subsidiaries. As mandated, the funds will be distributed to legal aid organizations to provide foreclosure prevention and community redevelopment legal assistance.
The distributions – totaling more than $490 million nationwide – were triggered in December by President Obama’s signing into law an act extending federal tax relief through 2016 to homeowners who otherwise would have incurred income-tax liability from mortgage debt forgiveness they received under consumer-relief provisions of the settlement. The money being distributed is from a fund established under the settlement to provide federal tax assistance to homeowners in case Congress failed to extend the tax-relief legislation.
The Foundation is gathering ideas from Maine’s legal aid providers and other leaders in Maine and beyond about possible ways to use these funds creatively, reasonably and effectively. Informed by this information, the Foundation will identify specifications to guide the use and distribution of these funds.